All in one Lycra, plus attachments

  • 1965
  • Jim Dine
  • various objects, charcoal, oil on canvas
  • 156,5 x 123,8 x 19,5 cm
  • Location not on view.
  • Acquired in 1966
  • Inventory number 92

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The American artist Jim Dine combines various techniques in his work 'All in one Lycra, plus attachments'. He drew a corset using charcoal and attached a real piece of fabric below this. The central part of the corset is drawn again as an independent shape. At the top of the canvas there are two plimsolls, a heel and two soles which have been screwed down. In the top right corner the shape of a sole has been drawn and partly painted with pink paint. This sole and the real shoes and parts of the shoes are linked together with charcoal lines. Between the objects a small part of the canvas has been painted pink.

When Dine moved to New York in 1959 Abstract Expressionism was an influential movement there. Dine’s work revealed some similarities to this. He had a sense of materials and sometimes used these materials independently: the pink mark on this painting is just a pink mark. However, the majority of the canvas shows everyday recognizable objects. In this respect it corresponds to Pop Art. However, Pop Art artists are not emotionally involved in their subjects, which are merely consumer articles. This was different for Dine. He said:” I can spend a lot of time with objects and they can give me just as much satisfaction as a good meal.” In a sense his work is autobiographical. His father and grandfather had shops selling tools and other objects and Dine felt at home with these sorts of articles. He drew them frequently or added them to a painting.

By combining real objects with represented objects, Dine buildt bridges between a two and three-dimensional world, between illusion and reality. Some of the precursors of Pop Art such as Johns and Rauschenberg also used this principle. For Dine, charcoal, paint and objects are materials with equal value. He also combined figurative and abstract elements in a self-evident way. The pink mark, the repeated central part of the corset and the lines linking the objects are directly related to the figurative parts because of their colour, shape or direction.

Queer perspective

In this painting, the artist combines several techniques and materials: a corset, a piece of fabric and shoes. Would you expect these items to belong to a woman or to a man? They could belong to either. Why should clothes be gendered? This binary division is not natural but performed, and derived from a social and historic construct. Until the 19th century, young children wore the same clothes whether they are girls or boys. In addition, certain cultures or traditions disrupt the division of gendered clothing. Examples include djellabas and Gaelic kilts.

%>Tags: binarism, normative, social constructionism

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